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InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The InterAction Council is an independent non-profit organization that brings together former world leaders to mobilize their energy, experience and international contacts in an effort to develop recommendations and foster co-operation and positive action around the world.

Founded in 1983, this body meets on annually and is composed of 40 former world leaders. The organization and its members jointly develop recommendations on, and practical solutions for, the political, economic and social problems confronting humanity. These efforts are focused on three main priority areas: peace and security, world economic revitalization and universal ethical standards.

One of its most well-known initiatives was the development of a draft Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities,[1] which was an attempt to propose a set of responsibilities that were shared by all individuals to counterbalance the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[2] This new "global ethic" would provide a foundation of freedom, justice and peace in order for universal rights to be meaningful. These agreed values and standards complement universal rights, as the maximization of personal freedom at the expense of others, without consideration of others, is as problematic as having no rights at all.

The current Secretary General is Tom Axworthy (2011-present).



Post-mortem Members




The InterAction Council released its first book in 2008 through the McGill-Queen's University Press in Canada, entitled Bridging the Divide: Religious Dialogue and Universal Ethics.[5]

A second book, produced with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation of Canada and the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, was released in the fall of 2012, entitled: The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue.[6]

In 2014, the InterAction Council again partnered with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health on the release of Global Agenda 2013: Water, Energy, and the Arab Awakening.[7] Also in 2014, the Council published a book from its Interfaith Dialogue in Vienna, Austria in March of that year, entitled, Ethics in Decision-Making.


  1. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities". www.interactioncouncil.org. InterAction Council. Archived from the original on 2017-05-28. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  2. ^ Fitzgerald, Denis. "A UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RESPONSIBILITIES?". www.untribune.com. UN Tribune.
  3. ^ Lee, Kuan Yew (2011). From third world to first : Singapore and the Asian economic boom. New York: Harper Business. p. 434. ISBN 978-0-06-095751-3. OCLC 704242902.
  4. ^ "Interaction Council Final Statement, Vienna 16-18 November 1983" (PDF). Archived from the original on 6 June 2023. Retrieved 6 June 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Axworthy, Thomas S. "Bridging the Divide". McGill-Queen's University Press.
  6. ^ Bigas, Harriet. "The Global Water Crisis" (PDF). United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-26. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  7. ^ Adeel, Zafar. "Water, Energy, and the Arab Awakening" (PDF). United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-07.